You had to know this was coming: A woman is suing Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) because she was struck by a car while following the walking directions in Google Maps. Lauren Rosenberg was strolling through Park City, Utah in the wee hours of the morning last January, and claims the application led her to a four-lane boulevard without sidewalks that "was not reasonably safe for pedestrians." She's seeking compensation from the driver, of course, and damages from Google for "careless, reckless, and negligent providing of unsafe directions."

Just as predictable is the reaction in the blogosphere. After scanning dozens of articles, I couldn't find anyone sympathetic to Rosenberg. I'm not, either. Even if the directions led her to an unsafe area, she should have turned around and found an alternate route. Guidance technology is not new -- Garmin (Nasdaq: GRMN) and others have been making products for years -- and consumers know by now to use common sense when navigating by car, bicycle, or foot.

The thing I would worry about, however, is being routed through high-crime areas in unfamiliar cities, especially with walking directions. But even in that situation, pedestrians need to be aware and use common sense.

What happens (or not) in this case will have zero direct effect on Google as an investment. But the broader reaction from map providers hoping to avoid litigation could go beyond annoying -- as it is, I already have to press "I Agree" (not to sue, I suppose; I've long since forgotten) each time I bring up directions in my car. I'm also unable to use some important map functions unless I pull over, which is dangerous enough in many instances and not practical on busy roads and interstates.

Do you think anyone would ever have a legitimate claim of negligence against a provider of guidance technology? Should providers like Garmin -- and even Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) with its Street & Trips software -- be worried about lawsuits? Let me know in the comments box below.

Fool analyst Rex Moore navigates with six-year-old GPS software, and he owns shares of Microsoft. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool has a disclosure policy.